So, when I wrote this piece http://wrestling.insidepulse.com/2014/02/14/pro-wrestlers-vs-zombies-no-really/ a couple of weeks ago I was curious whether or not this movie could work.
The film’s creator (and also a pretty good sleazeball in the movie) Cody Knotts, was kind enough to allow me to watch his movie, so through sheer tyranny of will, I tore myself away from the WWE Network for a couple of hours to check it out.* My suspicions were confirmed; this movie was delightfully fun and incredibly gross!
I’m not a huge fan of bloody guts and gore, which is weird because I own both versions of Dawn of the Dead and I watch The Walking Dead religiously. Aside from that, I’m very “eh” on blood. Spoiler Alert: This movie has plenty of blood.
I don’t really want to focus too much on the synopsis because the title speaks for itself. Basically, zombies are created and it could be all Shane “The Franchise” Douglas’ fault. Unlike many other zombie movies, Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies gives a bit of a back-story as to why the zombies came to be. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Kurt Angle and Matt Hardy are all booked for a match but this particular match does not seem to have a safe payoff. So things get real weird, real quick. Also, this match is in an old, abandoned, castle-looking prison with a creep-factor rating of 9 out of 10.
Did I mention Shane Douglas is somehow responsible for all of the things? To find out how he might be to blame for all of this, you’ll have to watch the movie when it comes out.
Who this movie is for: It mainly includes but is not limited to Zombie fans and Pro Wrestling fans. Casual fans of either genre could get in on the action, however, this is definitely not for the PG-era fan base. There was a small tip of the cap to George Romero via the name of the first person to become a zombie in the movie. There’s even an Easter Egg-y nod to everyone’s favorite Bar-B-Que Sauce-selling, black hat-wearing announcer. Plenty of respect paid to both of the main genres represented throughout the film.
It is really a zany, other-worldly, horror-driven, bizarre occurrence for anyone who likes to absorb any combination of those attributes.
What I got out of the film: I suggest viewing it as if it were a pro wrestling story-line from the late 80’s or early 90’s but set in the present. It had a bit of build, plenty of action, many of the top guys in the business, a key element of pop-culture and a great payoff. No Booker during that era in wrestling could create a story-line like this and afford to put it on film, so I call Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies an original success.
What this movie isn’t: If you’re looking for a film with a message of how we all are just wasting away in society while we “fake it until we make it”, this isn’t your film. Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies is gritty, intense and a new spin on zombie movies in general. The movie isn’t going to preach at you and make you feel bad about your life the next day. If you’re looking for that, go ahead and check your pretentious film-school rhetoric at the door because this movie refuses to be anything but ‘Good Old American Violence’.
My favorite parts: Just to preface my three favorite parts of the movie, I really hope there’s a behind the scenes feature and blooper reel because those will be worth the price of admission…watching Hacksaw Duggan thrash some zombie skull with his reliable 2×4, Roddy Piper reprising his role of the coconut smashing bad-ass and the ending…my God, the ending is so…American. You’ll see.
When it comes out, watch it. I enjoyed myself.
Feel free to comment and let me know whether or not you’ll see the film!
*Note: This movie has been one of the few things in life that has motivated me to step away for any length of time from the WWE Network (besides the bathroom and the Network freezing). I have no regrets.
Tags: Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kurt Angle, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Shane Douglas